Trumpism is my closest front row view of the effects of authoritarianism on a populace and it's not pretty. I was naive enough in my 20's and 30's that we had learned our lesson in the 20th century under despots like Mussolini and Hitler such that people would not be so gullible but I misjudged. My assumption had been that less access to information helped create these fascists but that the 21st century's plug in world might more readily be able to combat this.I was wrong.
The problem is people are far less able to gage and more able to be manipulated en masse than I had anticipated. They can be duped like sheep into believing in false Messiahs. Critical thinking being in woefully short supply, access to information has in some ways exacerbated the problem. The fool now has his own online group to comfort him and they can build on their outrage together on the same platform. They also have fabricated custom news.
So in essence we are doomed to repeat history and make much the same mistakes only under different circumstances.We are as scared as we have always been and just as pitifully gullible as ever.
It's frustrating to watch and you find solace among friends over beers with discussions over politics knowing that not much will change. We will go the precipice and hopefully pull away just in time before the disaster.